Smokers to cough up more for cigarettes

BROOKLYN - With the federal excise tax on cigarettes going into effect Wednesday, some smokers in Brooklyn say they are ready to re-evaluate their lifestyles.

Cigarettes in New York state are the most expensive in the nation. Only 40 percent of the price of a pack goes to the tobacco company, while the other 60 percent goes to state and federal governments. The latest tax hike increases the price of a pack by nearly 62 cents to $1.01.

"It's killing me hard," says Lynn Williams. "I guess I'm going to have to quit smoking now."

According to the New York City Department of Health, higher taxes on cigarettes will prompt 20,000 smokers to kick the expensive habit and save nearly $3,000 a year.

Lisa Sanon hopes her father will be one of the people to kick the habit in wake of the tax hike.

"Every day he buys a pack and smokes it, and when he runs out, he just buys another one," she says.

Smokers who wish to quit can obtain free nicotine patches by calling 311 or 1-866-NY-QUITS.

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